Digging Up the Latest Addicks and Barker Reservoir Dirt

DIGGING UP THE LATEST ADDICKS AND BARKER RESERVOIR DIRT The Army Corps of Engineers is exploring the possibility of deepening the Addicks and Barker reservoirs in order to increase their floodwater capacities. The Chronicle’s Mihir Zaveri digs up a request the Corps posted online quietly in January for specifics on how to remove soil from the reservoirs. The notice says the Corps is “evaluating the level of interest” from contractors, government agencies, and others “to allow for the beneficial use of material by interested parties while increasing capacity of the Government project.” Respondents are asked how much how much soil they would remove from the reservoirs, what methods they’d use to collect and transport it, where they’d deposit it, and how long the work would take. The deadline for responding to the agency was last Thursday. [Houston Chronicle; posting] Photo of American Shooting Centers and Millie Bush Dog Park off Westheimer Pkwy. in Barker Reservoir, flooded after Memorial Day, 2015: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers [license]

9 Comment

  • Finally. This is the very first solution that should have ever been mentioned. 50+ yrs without de-silting several THOUSAND acres of detention pond will definitely inhibit the design capacity. Why buy more land? Optimize the existing reservoirs. You could even take it a step further and make them 2-stage ponds whereby the 2nd stage is triggered during an extreme event (say…30% of the pond fills up). The 2nd stage could be excavated even deeper to further increase capacity, and could be emptied via pump. Pumps could even be temporary since they would only be used once a decade or so. I’d rather see government dollars spent optimizing existing systems rather than the pork-barrel projects currently being “analyzed” (code for “will my buddies do this big project and kick some $ back to me?”).

  • Worth noting that this isn’t a new idea or proposal, it’s just never been cost efficient before. It’d be worth doing, but I have a hard time believing shoveling dirt is a more effective fix than targeted drainage projects and simply changing building regulations.

  • Truck it down I-45 for the Ike Dike.

  • This sort of clean-out would have to be re-done regularly (biannually? every 5 years?) and, so, budgeted for.

  • For Addicks, lay a temporary 2-3 mile segment of railroad track infrastructure (thru a very wide utility easement) that could tie into existing sidings that are served from UP’s Hempstead line. Run solid gondola/hopper trains nightly for as long as it takes. Have trucks shift Barker spoils across I-10 to Addicks at night.

  • In addition to the building the Ike Dike, dredged material could be used as fill to raise lots in Braeswood and other flood prone neighborhoods.

  • Use some of the sand/silt to build a huge “mountain” (hill anywhere else) in the northern or western edge of Beak Creek Park so kids can actually benefit. Transportation and disposal costs will be minimal while the actual capacity will be minimally impacted by the site since as will be located on the edge of the reservoir area near the northern spill elevation of the dam.

  • @joel changing building regulations doesn’t unfolding the thousands of houses that flooded that were built before their were detention regulations or even a flood plain map. You have to somehow increase capacity. Generally, new houses don’t flood.